If you’re one of those music fans who hounds bands and musicians with questions such as ‘When are you coming to play MY town?’, Detour is one service you will be all over like a
deranged groupie rash.
London-based startup Songkick launched crowdfunding platform Detour in private beta last year, focusing on a small group of serious music fans. In the intermittent period, the service has seen 10 fan-generated gigs come to fruition which, when you consider it was only opened to 1,00 fans, isn’t bad.
In its short life to date, 114 fans used Detour to bring Braid to London, while 80 fans prompted Desaparecidos to play live too. In total, $100,000 in ticket sales have been generated through Detour so far.
It’s a simple-yet-genius idea, and from today any music fan based in the UK capital can use the service.
Detour opens its doors in London
There’s three stages to the crowdfunding process – pledging, selecting promoters and confirmation.
The first phase is all about building interest and seeing how much demand there really is. Sign in using your Songkick log-in details, and YOU decide how much you want to pay. Though your pledge is secured with your bank card, no money is actually taken off until the gig is confirmed.
Once an artist has gained sufficient popularity, the good folks at Songkick will establish contact with a promoter to help make the gig happen. And the final stage is ‘Confirmed’, meaning it’s all systems go and fan pledges are transformed into tickets. Any remaining allocation then go on general sale.
Now, to get your favorite artists to tour near you, you can manually search for them in the Detour database. If you choose someone who’s ‘too popular,’ you’ll be asked to search for someone a little more ‘niche’. In other words, someone who may not be confident of any demand for their live show. Otherwise, you can browse the existing Pledge Leaderboard and throw your own hat into the ring.
If you’re not familiar with how Songkick’s core platform works, it scans your device for music (via Web and mobile apps) and tells you what gigs are coming up near you, based on your collection. As such, Detour already knows who you like, so in your tracked artists section you can see if there’s anyone needing an extra pledge to get things moving.
That’s Detour in a nutshell and, judging by the uptake so far during its short existence, it’s difficult to see how this won’t prove popular with the music-loving masses.
Although it is only London-focused at the moment, it will be opening across the UK shortly. And don’t be too surprised if it opens further afield after that, as Songkick co-founder and CEO Ian Hogarth says in a blog post earlier today, that the team have been “thrilled at the emails we’ve been getting from fans and promoters across the world asking when Detour would come to their city.”
Interestingly, Detour isn’t just being used by fans. Some independent London promoters have also used Detour to kickstart concert campaigns, as it means far lower risk – it’s like a market research tool to establish demand. Also, it could be used for just about any artist or live performer – Detour has already been used to sway comedian Aziz Ansari towards a London gig.
“When we launched Detour London in November, we really didn’t know what would happen,” says Hogarth. “In some ways, that’s the most amazing thing about the Internet – if you give people a powerful new way to connect, they figure out ways to use it that couldn’t be anticipated in advance.”
Detour is open to London users now, and will open across the UK shortly after.